I have a new job!
I’m the Young Adults Champion with The Meeting House.
But, what does that mean?!
At 16, I began volunteering in the Jr.High ministry, as a new Christian. I stayed with Jr.High as my passion for that age group only grew stronger over the next 15 years there. Yet, somewhere along the way, as I watched Jr.Highers grow up and lose interest in the church community, my focus shifted from Jr.Highers to the 22 year olds showing up each week to volunteer as leaders for them. I wondered why they were here, what’s keeping them involved, how can we help them on their journey so they are better empowered to help others?
Which brings us to today.
I’ve been called a lot of things in my life, but never have I been called, “Champion”.
No podium has had me standing on top of it, no trophy has been raised above my head, and no red ribbon has been pinned on my cardigan (I imagine champions wear cardigans for some reason).
Today, though I begin a new chapter as the Young Adults Champion for The Meeting House. This doesn’t make me the best of all the Young Adults, it doesn’t mean that I won some competition, it means that I’m going to advocate for a generational ministry focus for the next year. I’m going to champion the cause, as it were - to shine the spotlight on this ministry and these people. In fact, it’s quite the opposite of standing on a podium or lifting a trophy, to champion this means that I must lower myself in order to lift others up and hear their voices. And I’m so flipping excited to get started!
The role has me on a one-year contract in which I am tasked with researching Young Adult and Millennial culture (specifically throughout The Meeting House context, but spreading out wider as necessary), in order to set the church up to build some sort of Young Adults ministry in the most effective way possible.
In short, listen, dream, develop.
The stats will tell you that young adults are the largest population of a generation yet in our history, and that they have the lowest church attendance on record as well. Some people look at this as a problem to address, some people even talk about Emerging Adults as a problem to be addressed. They see the problem and try and try and try to fix it quickly.
The approach of this new role though, is choosing to take time to listen, to engage in conversation, and to try to build something new rather than continue patching holes in a collapsing house. The main reason I’m jumping into this role, is because of the trust and respect this demonstrates from The Meeting House towards this generation.
TMH is willing to invest time, energy, and money to listen for a year, and then move forward. These people are not a problem to be solved, this is not about getting them back into the church to fill seats and pay the bills, this is about listening to a generation of young people who see God at work in our world differently than the generations before and investing the time to understand how, why, and what we can do to move forward together as a truly integrated, intergenerational community of faith.
They are motivated dreamers who move through this world with a hopeful abandon of the way it’s always been done. They need people to willingly come alongside them and help discover and do what they’re made for so they can help others do the same.
This role will work alongside my role at LAUNCH, I’ll be running with two part-time jobs - one research and conversation based, the other teaching and coaching based - both focusing on Youth and Young Adults and how they can use what they have to change our world in the way of Jesus.
This means I’m going to be reading a lot, asking a ton of questions, and testing different approaches. I’m going to try to be a safe place to share how the church has hurt, how the church has helped, and how we can hope together for something better.
So, if you’ve got any thoughts, articles, stories, experiences you think might be helpful - email, message, call, send it my way!
Moving forward with an active patience,